Wine Time

A Great Italian Wine List at Nundini

For an Italian wine lover like me, the wine list at Nundini Chef's Table Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, the subject of this week's cafe review (I filled in for Katharine Shilcutt), is a dream come true.

It covers nearly every wine-growing region in Italy, and its prices are not just reasonable... they're fantastic.

And while you're not going to find the heavy hitters there (the "special occasion" wines that we reserve for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.), you will find a wondrous encyclopedia of native Italian grape varieties and appellation that chronicles the mosaic of aromas and flavors of the fair country.

In my review of the restaurant in this week's edition of the paper, I write about my disappointment with the food. Considering owner Giampaolo Nundini's legacy as one of the leading importers of Italian foods in Texas, I was surprised by the disconnect between the high quality of the ingredients and the poor execution of the dishes.

But the materia prima offers great promise: I loved the bresaola pizza, topped with mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and thinly sliced air-dried beef from northern Italy. Whether reaching for a clean, crisp, bright Dolcetto from Alba (Piedmont) or a blend of Montepulciano and Nero di Troia from Castel del Monte (Apulia [Puglia]), I could spend a year marching through the wine regions of Italy and munching on the wide selection of pizzas at Nundini.

I probably won't take my wife Tracie P there for our anniversary in January. But Cousins Marty and Neil and I will surely be back to study Sangiovese on a Wednesday night while our wives are sipping Nebbiolo and nibbling truffles elsewhere.

The food at Nundini performed best when it was its simplest: Great ingredients, combined judiciously.

Click here for my review.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen